FAQs, Helps, and Extras

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Language Arts Curriculum

For more free downloads, visit the FAQs, Helps, and Extras page for each subject and level.

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FAQs

How do your levels compare to public school grade levels?

Our grade comparison chart is as follows:
Level K: Advanced Kindergarten/Regular 1st Grade
Level 1: Advanced 1st Grade/Regular 2nd Grade
Level 2: Advanced 2nd Grade/Regular 3rd Grade
Level 3: 3rd Grade/4th Grade
Level 4: 4th Grade/5th Grade
Level 5: 5th Grade/6th Grade
Level 6: 7th Grade/8th Grade
Level 7: Advanced 8th Grade/9th Grade

Why do the levels not match public school grade levels?

The homeschool experience usually allows children to progress at a faster rate. The Good and the Beautiful curriculum is carefully designed to pack a lot of learning into a short period of time while keeping difficult subjects understandable. Thus, our curriculum tends to progress at a faster rate than public school curriculum. Children going from public school to The Good and the Beautiful tend to start at a lower level than they would expect, but they also tend to progress very quickly.

Does my child need to take the assessment?

The assessment is highly recommended in order to determine the appropriate level for your child. You may also download Levels 1-5 for free, and the other levels have samples which include all the benchmarks and many sample pages. You can look through these samples and use your own judgment to decide the course level with which to start your child, but the assessment is very helpful in determining the appropriate place to start.

What do I need to order for my child?

This is one of the most common questions parents have when they first visit our website. Our Shopping List/Age-Level Guide will help you navigate what products are needed and what is typically used for each age group. We understand that not every child will use the suggested level for their age. We advise parents to administer our Language Arts Assessment and Math Assessment before purchasing items, as these tests will give you a more detailed look at your child’s needs.

My child placed much lower than his or her corresponding grade level. What should I do?

This is extremely common for children just starting The Good and the Beautiful curriculum. Our curriculum fills gaps and holes that either your child didn’t retain or were not taught in their prior curriculum. Do not worry about starting an older child in a lower level. He or she will likely go through the courses quickly and catch up to his or her corresponding grade level without missing any important foundational principles. Also, when the child reaches high school age, he or she can jump right to the high school course, which reviews all grammar principles, regardless of what levels he or she has completed.

My child is an advanced reader but behind in grammar and/or writing. What should I do?

Levels 1, 2, and 3 review all the grammar and spelling principles taught in the previous courses. Thus, advanced readers can usually start one or two levels higher than they place if they only place in a lower level because of grammar and spelling. Levels 4 and above are mainly self-directed. If the child does not have a good foundation in spelling and grammar, consider starting with Level 3. Advanced readers will naturally go through the courses quickly. Also, your child can continue to improve reading skills by reading higher-level books on our book list.

What if my child took the assessment after finishing the course and he or she didn't pass to move on to the next level?

This is not common. However, if this is the case after you followed instructions, completed the entire course book, and feel that the child made progress , move to the course for the next level. If you feel that the child did not make good progress, or if the child does not pass the assessment after finishing the NEXT course (two course books in a row), it is suggested you have the child tested for a reading or learning disability.

Note: Usually you do not need to have your child take the assessment after finishing each course. Simply move to the next course level.

My young child placed in a high level. Is he/she really ready for it?

You will have to use your best judgment, especially taking into consideration the child’s handwriting and writing abilities. The biggest struggle for younger children in higher levels is usually the writing assignments. In addition to this, our assessments are limited and cannot test all grammar principles; consequently, there may be gaps in learning if younger children start at a high level. It is recommended that you do not start any child more than one level above his or her corresponding grade level (allowing the child to move through the levels as quickly as he or she is able).

Will starting my advanced reader on a lower level slow down his or her reading progress?

Even advanced readers usually benefit by reviewing and cementing foundational phonic principles, which will help them know how to sound out challenging words when they encounter them. Advanced readers usually take less time to go through the courses and quickly reach higher levels. In the meantime, you can help your child continue to gain reading progress by completing the following:
1. Supplement with books from The Good and the Beautiful Book List that are on the child’s reading level. The book list has a separate assessment to determine his or her reading level.
2. Read aloud with your child books that are 2–3 levels higher than the child’s personal reading level, switching off every paragraph or page. When reading on their own, children often skip through challenging words. Reading out loud with the parent or teacher encourages the child to sound out
challenging words.
3. Have the child listen to audio books (from The Good and the Beautiful Book List ) that are 2–3 levels higher than his or her reading level.

Will my child ever be able to catch up?

Start your child on the level for which he or she tested and be consistent each day with doing the recommended time for the course (see the “About this Course” section at the beginning of each course book). Then, do not stress! If a child does not have reading disabilities, he or she can start with the first high school course as soon as they reach high school age. It is not necessary to complete Level 7 beforehand. For example, if a child completed Level 5 and just turned 14, he or she can jump to the High School 1 course. This is because our standard high school courses review the principles and rules learned in the lower levels.

Why are some of the lessons so long?

We recommend that students work for a certain amount of time each day, instead of trying to complete a set number of lessons. Additionally, some lessons contain parts that are meant to be completed on separate days, so it is likely that your child will be working on more than one lesson each day. For example, you may start by reviewing a spelling rule and dictating one set of words to your child, and then move to the next lesson and complete a geography assignment. The following day you would return to the same spelling lesson and dictate another set of words before proceeding to the next lesson you are working on. Our new editions of Levels K-3 are formatted in a daily lesson schedule.

My child finished early. Do I wait until next year to start the next level?

No, you can continue straight into the next level when your child finishes his or her current course.

How do I report a typo/error?

Please email our customer support team ( [email protected] ) if you find a typo in the curriculum. If you are using an edition that is older than two years, the typo has most likely been fixed and will not need to be reported .

Does The Good and the Beautiful Language Arts courses follow Common Core standards? How does it compare to public school?

The Language Arts courses do not follow Common Core standards. Each course strives to teach everything moral and sound that is being taught in public schools while going above and beyond many public school standards but not necessarily in the same order.

What educational philosophies does the Language Arts curriculum follow?

The Language Arts courses are not based on one specific educational philosophy or method. Rather, the creators of the curriculum intensely studied many different philosophies over a period of years and compiled what they felt were the best elements from several different philosophies, pulling mainly from Charlotte Mason.

Does the curriculum include doctrines specific to any certain Christian denomination?

No. The goal of The Good and the Beautiful curriculum is not to teach doctrines specific to a particular Christian sect, but to teach general principles of moral character such as honesty and kindness. The King James Version of the Bible is used when quoting Bible verses.

Which language arts courses have new editions and when did they release?
Language Arts New Edition Schedule (Schedule Last Updated March of 2021):
Preschool: A new edition of our Preschool Course (which replaced our Pre-K Language Arts course) released on August 30, 2021.
Level K Primer: A new course is being created that will be titled Kindergarten Prep. No release date is announced. The new course is expected to release between January and April 2022.
Levels K, 1, 2, 3, 4: We currently do not have plans to update these courses. A new edition of Level K released on June 14, 2019. A new edition of Level 1 released on June 27, 2019. A new edition of Level 2 released on January 6, 2020. A new edition of Level 3 released on May 4, 2020. A new edition of Level 4 released on October 12, 2020.
Level 5: A new edition of this level is being created and is expected to be released sometime between mid October of 2021 to March of 2022, but no release date has been set.
Levels 6 and 7: We do have plans to do new versions of these levels, but they will not release until late Fall of 2022 or sometime in 2023.
High School LA Courses: We currently do not have plans to update these courses.

Pre-K

The course book isn't very large; is it supposed to last an entire school year?

The length of time it will take a child to go through the course book will vary with each child. For some children it will take an entire year or more, and for others the course book will be finished in a few months. Whenever you finish, move on to the Level K Primer course.

A new edition of our Pre-K Language Arts Course (to be titled Preschool Course) will be released on or before August 30, 2021. This new course features all new illustrations and moves to 90 lessons. None of the current components will be used with the updated edition. Samples will be available when the new edition releases.

What age should I start my child?

Most children start the course at the age of 3 or 4. If your child can count to five and recognize pictures of and say the words for apple, monkey, alligator, garbage can, elephant, and dinosaur, he or she is ready for the course. However, we strongly recommend not moving the child through the course too quickly. Some children, especially younger children, will need to move slower than others.

Level K Primer

Do I need to have my child complete the Level K Primer before Level K?

Not necessarily. If a child has completely mastered all the letters and their sounds (including short and long vowel sounds), knows the vowels, can sing the alphabet, and can sound out short, simple two and three letter words, the child is ready to begin the Level K course. Children who use the Level K Primer course will be better prepared for the speed of the Level K course.

How do I use/access the Level K Primer songs?

A download link was sent to the email address you used at checkout. The songs will download to your computer in an mp3 format. The course book will not direct you when to play the songs; rather, just play them whenever you would like to help solidify the concepts taught in the course.

Do I need to purchase the Level K Primer Supplement?

Not necessarily. The Level K Primer Supplement is for those children who want/need a little more practice on the concepts taught in the Level K Primer before moving on to the Level K course.

Kindergarten

What is the recommended letter tiles app? How do I find it? Can I use a different one?

The recommended app is called “Sound Literacy” and is available for iPad only. You can use any letter tiles app that allows the child to manipulate individual letters to create words.

My child is not understanding the spelling rules. Can I skip them?

Jenny Phillips and her team have done extensive research on spelling rules and reading for elementary-age children. They have found that the study of spelling rules can be very effective for certain children, but only when the spelling rules are memorized well. For children or families that do not wish to spend the time to memorize the rules so they can be instantly recalled, or for children who do not benefit from these rules, she recommends spending extra time reading or practicing dictation, which can also be effective in assisting children with spelling. Knowing that the rules exist and understanding them at a basic level is still helpful, so the spelling-rule assignments are still recommended.

Does my child need to master the subject before moving on to the next level?

All of our levels have a lot of review. We do not expect children to retain everything learned the first time concepts are introduced. Therefore, we build review into our courses in a spiral method. All concepts taught will be covered again, usually multiple times.

Level 1

What do I do if my child finishes all of the sight word ladders and Phonics Cards?

That’s great! Have your child spend extra time reading. We also suggest reviewing the cards and word ladders once every 1–2 weeks.

What is dictation? How is it done?

To dictate a sentence or a word means you say the sentence or word out loud and the child writes it down. After each word or sentence, give any correction needed. Have the child write the sentence or word correctly if it was incorrect the first time.

Is the reader required to complete the course?

The Level 1 Reader was previously an optional resource. It is now an integrated and required part of the updated 3.0 edition of the course. If your child is reading at a higher reading level, you can supplement with good books on your child’s reading level.

Level 2

When do we read the books in the book pack?

The previous edition of Level 2 integrated four books(The Beatinest Boy; Sarah, Plain and Tall; Lumber Camp Library; and Prairie School).

The third edition of Level 2 does not use any of these books. The third edition of the course integrates different books, and they are all included in the Shared Reader, which is included with the course set. The books contained in the previous book pack are wonderful reading books for this level. We suggest using them for your child’s personal reading if you already own the book pack.

Is the reader required to complete the course?

Previously, the reader for Level 2 was an optional resource. There are now two readers integrated with the lessons: the Personal Reader and Shared Reader. Each reader is perfect bound rather than spiral bound.

The new Personal Reader contains the same stories as the original Level 2 Reader, but it has updated illustrations. The old edition of the reader may be used to complete the course, although the page numbers will vary, which will make it difficult for the child to know what section to read for each lesson.

Level 3

Are the spelling and grammar rules reviewed in the next levels, or does my child need to master them now?

Spelling and grammar rules are reviewed in our upper-level lessons, so your child does not need to master them now.

Can my child work independently in Level 3?

Level 3 is meant to be completed one-on-one with a parent, as this course focuses heavily on phonics and reading. It is not required that your child complete one lesson per day, but rather, he or she will work for a certain amount of time. It is possible that only a portion of a lesson with be covered, or several lessons may be completed each day. Instructions are included in the course book.

In what lesson will my child read A Penny's Worth of Character needed?

The previous edition of Level 3 integrated A Penny’s Worth of Character. The third edition of Level 3 does not use this book or any others. The third edition of the course integrates different books and readings, and they are all included in the Reader and I Sat by the Sea Poetry Collection, which are included with the course set.  A Penny’s Worth of Character is a wonderful reading book for this level. We suggest using it for your child’s personal reading if you already own it.

Are the readers required to complete the course?

The Level 3 Course Set includes the Course Book, an I Sat by the Sea Poetry Collection book, and the Level 3 Reader, all of which are required to complete the course.

Level 4

Which pastels do I need?

You will need chalk pastels. Suggestions from Amazon.com: NuPastel 36 (high-quality recommendation) or B441R078-7003A (less expensive recommendation)

Can I transition to the new 2020 edition from the previous edition?

Yes, if desired. The scope and sequence for this course have changed, but families may transition by reviewing the free download to find the best place for their child to begin.

How much of the course has changed from the update in 2020? Do the children read the same books and stories?

About 90% of the course book has changed. The personal reader contains two new books and two books that were included in the original edition (Carlotta and The Belgian Twins). The Level 4 World Biographies Reader is brand new.

Does Level 4 still use the Creative Companion or Geography & Grammar Cards?

No. Many of the Creative Companion components have been integrated into the full-color course book. The Geography & Grammar Cards are now introduced in Level 5.

Level 5

What watercolors do I need?

You will need dry-cake watercolors, not tubes. Suggestions:

Click here for a suggested set on Amazon.com

Hobbylobby.com search for 1458488

What is the shared reader and how do we use it?

Each day, the child reads one section in the shared reader WITH a parent or teacher, switching off each paragraph. This 6″ x 9″, 336-page reader is integrated with the course and is a necessary part of the course. The shared reader is broken down into lesson numbers that correspond to the lesson numbers in the course book. Each lesson requires an average of 2.75 pages to be read. The shared reader helps the child increase his or her reading level, learn difficult vocabulary, and become comfortable with reading more complex and challenging literature without being overwhelmed.

Are the readers required to complete the course?

The shared reader is integrated in the course and required; however, the personal reader is optional and can be replaced with good books on your child’s reading level.

Level 6

When should my child start reading Little Lord Fauntleroy ?

Your child will begin reading this book in Lesson 33.

Why is there no daily checklist for Level 6?

Each level is slightly different from the other levels in order to provide variety and to prevent boredom. In Level 6 there are less items for the student to do on a daily basis; however, a checklist is provided on the first page in your Level 6 Course Book.

Level 7

My child completed Level 7, is he or she really ready for High School Language Arts levels?

Yes, your child is now ready for our High School Language Arts levels. However, you may want your child to complete our Level 8 Book Studies before starting high school courses for some of the following reasons:

1. He or she finished Level 7 in the middle of a year and wants something to work on before starting high school in the upcoming school year.
2. He or she is not interested in eventually completing high school courses earlier than 12th grade.
3. He or she is not quite ready for more intense reading, or needs more review of principles before moving on to high school courses.
4. He or she is not old enough for books with more mature (but still appropriate) topics and some wholesome romance.

The Level 8 Book Studies are optional; students do not need to complete any Book Studies between Level 7 and high school. They do not teach any new grammar, punctuation, or usage principles. Rather, the Book Studies review principles learned through Level 7. However, the Book Studies include new literature, spelling words, memorization, geography, art, handwriting, and writing assignments.

Can I count Level 7 as high school credit?

The instruction in Level 7 is comparable to 9th grade work.

What do I do if my child has finished the Geography & Grammar cards?

Your child should review the completed cards once or twice a week to retain the information.

Level 8 Book Studies

Why were the Level 8 Book Studies created?

The Good and the Beautiful curriculum has no Level 8 Language Arts course. The language arts courses go from Level 7 to the high school courses. The Book Studies are designed for students who have completed The Good and the Beautiful Level 7 Language Arts course but do not want to start high school courses yet.

How are the Book Studies completed?

In these student-directed studies, the student simply reads and follows the instructions in each lesson. The parent or teacher checks the student’s work (daily or weekly) using the answer key.

How many Book Studies should be completed and in what order?

Each of the Book Studies has a different number of lessons, depending on the length of the book. Each lesson takes an average of 25–35 minutes to complete. It is recommended that a student doing Book Studies for their sole language arts instruction do 1–2 lessons per day.

The Book Studies do not go in any specific order. Students are encouraged to choose the Book Study they would like to complete, but they are also encouraged to choose a variety of genres, including biographies.

There is not a set number of Book Studies that should be completed. These studies are a way to keep students reading good literature, learning new vocabulary, writing, and reviewing principles learned in previous levels until they are ready to move to the high school courses. We will be releasing one Book Study every 4–6 months.

What is needed to complete a Book Study?

To complete a Book Study, you will need the following items:

1. The Book Study Booklet
2. The associated reading book
3. The Good and the Beautiful Grammar and Writing Guide (This non-consumable guide is also used for the high school courses.)
4. A blank (unlined) notebook for writing and drawing
5. Art supplies specific to each Book Study